Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer just stuck it to Donald Trump

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader met with Donald Trump today, and came away with an agreement on a $2 trillion package to fix the nation’s badly crumbling infrastructure. The meeting went surprisingly well, considering that Trump and the Democrats are currently at war over witness subpoenas, and the Democrats have all but decided to impeach Trump.

Some observers are upset because the meeting did go well, as they’d rather see Pelosi and Schumer taking a hard line stance against Trump on all fronts – but they’re not seeing the chess game that’s playing out here. Trump has an approval rating below 40% and dropping, and he has no ability to pass any partisan legislation for the rest of his term. With numbers that are currently way too low to have any chance at reelection, and limited ability to change the playing field, Trump knows he has to take any bone the Democrats might throw him – even one that’ll probably hurt him more than help him.

So of course Donald Trump agreed to give Pelosi and Schumer whatever they asked for today on infrastructure. These are, after all, the people who are deciding whether to impeach him. Trump simply had no choice. And as tends to happen when one side is holding all the leverage to begin with, this deal only serves to give the Democrats even more leverage heading into 2020.

With the infrastructure deal in place, the Democrats can now push back against any GOP argument in 2020 that all the Democrats did this term was investigate Donald Trump. If the public Mueller-related hearings over the next month create the broad public demand for impeachment that Democrats are hoping for, they’re going to impeach Trump no matter how cooperative he’s being on infrastructure. And if he then rips up the deal in response, it’ll look like he’s the one playing games. Pelosi knows exactly what she’s doing – and she proved it again today.

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